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Evers vetoes bill barring extra $300-week unemployment benefit

The Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, Wis.
The Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, Wis.(WEAU)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:56 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed a bill that would have required the Department of Workforce Development to end the federal unemployment insurance programs that provide extra benefits, including the $300-a-week federal bonus for unemployed people.

The bill would have given regular unemployment benefits on top of other benefits, including the $300-a-week federal bonus for unemployed people, as well as prohibited the department work search requirements for any reason related to COVID-19.

Gov. Evers explained he was vetoing the bill for two reasons.

“First, I object to the interference and encroachment by the Legislature on the executive branch’s constitutional and statutory authority to administer programs and policies, in this case, the unemployment insurance program,” said Evers. “Second, I am vetoing the bill because it would eliminate economic assistance for individuals whose employers or occupations have been most adversely affected by the pandemic.”

Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said the veto adds “one more hurdle” on to small businesses.

“Governor Evers refuses to acknowledge the facts,” said Vos. “People will not go back to work when the government continues to pay them to sit on the couch.”

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature voted June 9 to eliminate the $300-a-week federal bonus for unemployed people.

The federal payment, approved to help the unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to end on Sept. 6.

Twenty-five other states have already approved ending it early, saying it has exacerbated worker shortage problems. That’s the argument that Republicans, state and local chambers of commerce, trade groups and others are making for passing the bill in Wisconsin.

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